Beautiful Arms – Strong Heart

I recently read an interesting article by Dr. Susan Lark. She talked about how orchestra conductors live longer and healthier lives than other musicians – because of the ‘wing flapping’ motions that they do with their arms while they’re conducting music! According to Dr. Lark, research has shown that upper body movements provide better cardiovascular effects than lower body movements like running and walking.

Using the arms and upper body engages the muscles that control the chest and lungs. When these muscles and the lungs are energetically worked, you breath deeper and oxygen courses through your body. This in turn causes your heart to pump stronger, giving you cardiovascular benefits.

In bellydancing, hip and torso moves  are predominant, but the arms are very important too. They are used to either frame the dancer’s body with beautiful arm poses or are moved in graceful patterns. Of course, in bellydancing we don’t ‘flap’ our arms like orchestra conductors. Nonetheless, belly dance arm circles, arm waves (snake arms), and shoulder techniques are great for getting the heart rate going. The aerobic effect is even stronger if the arm poses or movements are used at waist level or at higher positions.

For additional aerobic effects from your bellydancing, you can also dance to faster tempos with energetic moves like shimmies, staccato moves, level changes, and traveling steps. Rolling, undulating and vibrating motions of the torso help drive your increased oxygen intake to every part of the body, fueling your cells even more efficiently.

By practicing strong and graceful arm work, you’ll add a beautiful finishing touch to your dance and get more cardiovascular benefits too. Whether you’re bellydancing or just working out, let your arms take flight to a strong and healthy heart?

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